Kerry James Marshall: History of Painting

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By Kerry James Marshall

Text by Teju Cole and Hal Foster

Kerry James Marshall is one of America’s greatest contemporary living painters and is known for his paintings of Black figures. In 1997 Marshall received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.” History of Painting presents a groundbreaking body of new work that engages with the history of the medium itself.

In History of Painting, the artist has widened his scope to include both figurative and nonfigurative works that deal explicitly with art history, race, and gender, as well as force us to reexamine how artworks are received in the world and in the art market. In the paintings in this book, Marshall’s critique of history and of dominant white narratives is present, even as the subjects of the paintings move between reproductions of auction catalogues, abstract works, and scenes of everyday life.

Essays by Teju Cole and Hal Foster help readers navigate the artist’s masterful vision, decoding complexly layered works such as Untitled (Underpainting) (2018) and Marshall’s own artistic philosophy. This catalogue was published on the occasion of Marshall’s eponymous exhibition at David Zwirner, London, in 2018.

Hardcover, 96 pages

Dimensions: 8.5" x 10.5" x 0.6"